Monday, June 7, 2010

Cabela's Dundee store weathers Sunday's tornado

Even a tornado sweeping through Dundee, Michigan in the wee hours of Sunday morning couldn’t keep Cabela’s from doing business.

Just a couple hours later than normal with electricity being supplied by a powerful generator. The store was open for business as of noon, Sunday.

Some modification was required, however. That is because the storm severed the area’s power lines, including those powering Cabela’s - a 225,00-square foot retail store carrying all things outdoors from tents to bass boats to fly rods to shotgun ammunition.

Annually, Cabela’s Dundee store attracts about 6 million visitors, making it Michigan’s Number One tourism draw. It is a very popular go-to destination for Northeast Ohio hunters, anglers, boaters and campers.

“We’re currently still in the process of assessing damage to both our buildings and inventory. What we do know is there’s roof damage as well as that to the heating and cooling unit on the roof and extensive damage to a shed,” said Cabela’s spokesman, John Castillo.

“I do know, too, that we had a number of boats in the parking lot on display and which were damaged to varying extent. We’ll be assessing these boats also and prioritizing how much damage was done to each including totaling them if necessary.”

Signage was heavily damaged as well along as massive destruction to the store’s well-manicured landscaping, Castillo said also.

“Virtually everything,” he said.

In response to the devastating storm, a number of Cabela’s semi-trailers are in route to the store. The items to be available to the public for purchase include 250 generators, fuel cans and work apparel, Castillo said.

Castillio said several of Cabela’s neighbors were hit even more severely.

However, none of the Cabela's employees inside the building were harmed as they stocked the store’s shelves with inventory, Caslillo said.

“We feel very fortunate. We had good emergency procedures in place and thankfully everyone is okay,” Castillo said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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